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Rutgers volleyball returns home with weekend matchups against Illinois, Maryland

Senior right side hitter Beka Kojadinovic and the Rutgers volleyball team return to Piscataway this weekend as they face off against Illinois and Maryland.  – Photo by Olivia Thiel

Coming off of a four-game road trip, the Rutgers women’s volleyball team is set to return home for the first time since Oct. 10 to start a four-game homestand. The Scarlet Knights (8-13, 0-10) will begin the series with matchups against Illinois and Maryland this weekend on Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

Currently at 11 consecutive losses, Rutgers is tied for its longest losing streak since 2019. The Knights played their closest conference game of the season thus far this past Sunday, falling to Indiana in five sets.

As Rutgers shifts its focus to its weekend matchups, it will have its eyes set on ending its losing skid against the Fighting Illini (14-7, 6-4) and Terrapins (17-5, 5-5), both of whom rank in the middle of the conference at No. 7 and No. 8 respectively.

The Knights have already met Maryland once this season, being swept last week. They played three close sets, losing by no more than 5 points in any of the sets.

The Terrapins have had a stout defense this season, leading the conference in blocks per set with 3.18 and holding their opponents to the third-lowest hitting percentage in the conference at 0.153. Illinois, on the other hand, has served its way to success, leading the conference in aces per set with 1.90.

Maryland’s defense is highlighted by Rainelle Jones, who tops the Big Ten with 1.81 blocks per set, and Milan Gomillion, who also leads the conference with 4.71 digs per set. Illinois’ serving attack is led by Raina Terry and her 0.43 aces per set, good for No. 4 in the Big Ten.

For Rutgers, senior middle back Shealyn McNamara has continued to be a defensive force, as No. 10 in the conference in blocks per set with 1.21. Offensively, senior right-side hitter Beka Kojadinovic has averaged a team-high 2.89 kills per set.

Friday night’s game is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. while Sunday afternoon’s game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Both games will take place at the Rutgers Athletic Center on Livingston campus and will be televised on Big Ten Network+.

For more updates on the Rutgers volleyball team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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